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Rules of Summer Hardcover – June 4, 2013
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From School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up-Rory is thrilled to be joining her aunt at a beach mansion in New York's Hamptons for the summer. One small wrinkle, though: Fee is the housekeeper, and Rory will be an unpaid errand girl for the fabulously wealthy Rule family. It won't be exactly carefree, blissful fun in the sun, but it will be a departure from small-town New Jersey and the parade of her hair-stylist mother's boyfriends. The youngest Rule daughter, Isabel, also decides to try something new: a romance with Mike, a salt-of-the-earth, local surfer who seems to be calling the shots, and that's a first for her. Gone are the salad lunches with gossip about the same old, same old. Now it's an older guy and a whole different sphere of people. After a rocky start, Rory and Isabel find themselves in an upstairs-downstairs friendship in which Rory tries to teach Isabel to drive while Isabel resolves to find Rory a boyfriend. The guy Rory really likes is Isabel's older brother. Maybe Conner even likes her, but the exacting Mrs. Rule, who fires cooks with alarming frequency, would look down her nose at such an unsuitable attachment. In this serviceable summer romance novel, the girls and their love interests are fleshed out nicely.-Suzanne Gordon, Lanier High School, Sugar Hill, GAα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Philbin returns to writing about the rich and privileged with this upstairs-downstairs take. Rory McShane is escaping her boring life in New Jersey to be an errand girl for the wealthy Rule family, where Isabel Rule reigns as the rebellious youngest child and Queen of the Hamptons. The two girls soon form an unlikely friendship and help each other navigate summer romances—and growing up in general. Specifically, Isabel meets a local surfer who is a bit dangerous, while Rory crushes on Conner Rule. Brand names, country clubs, parties, and social class issues abound, and Isabel and Rory are both likable characters as they battle against social orders. There are family secrets to add drama, though much of the surprise is lost because they are not developed until near the end. The strength of the novel is in Isabel and Rory’s friendship and romantic relationships, where Isabel’s story line is a bit more realistic than Rory’s. Both, though, are well done, making this book a good, light summer beach read. Grades 9-12. --Sarah Bean Thompson
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Top Customer Reviews
there as I read Joanna Philbin's novel. She is an accomplished storyteller.
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Review originally posted at Romancing the Book
If you are looking for an easy read…something to make you...Read more